Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators | 2018 Exam Changes

    Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operator (Classes 1-4) Examinations 

    On June 1, 2018, the WWWOOSSP Board is transitioning to the 2017 ABC Standardized Exams for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators Classes 1-4.

    What does this mean for you?

    If you are planning to take any of the Waterworks or Wastewater Works Operator examinations on or after June 1, 2018, you will need to review the updated Need-to-Know documents, formula sheets, and reference list.

    Don’t forget that the ABC classes are the reverse of Virginia’s classes of license. For example, if you are preparing to take the Virginia Class 1 examination, you will review the ABC Class IV materials (see conversion chart below).

    What about the Virginia Class 5 and 6 Waterworks Operators examinations?

    The Class 5 and 6 Waterworks Operators examinations are not changing. The Need-to-Know criteria, references, and other documents remain the same.

    What's Behind the 2017 Standardized Exams?

    The 2017 Standardized Exams have been developed through a rigorous psychometric process that began with new job analyses conducted in 2014-2015. Through this process, more than 5,000 industry stakeholders provided input on the significance of approximately 730 job tasks. This data was analyzed to prepare new exam content outlines (Need-to-Know Criteria) reflecting the most widely performed and significant job tasks.

    More than 1,000 new items (“test questions”) were written and closely scrutinized against the new Need-to-Know Criteria and best item writing practices to avoid common item flaws or bias over the course of 2016. Much of this new content has been integrated into the 2017 Standardized Exams which, after extensive review and refinement, were launched on May 1, 2017.

    Each phase of exam development was carried out by diverse committees of highly-qualified subject matter expert volunteers from across the United States and Canada under the guidance of ABC’s psychometric partner, PSI Services LLC.

    Conversion Chart

    PSI administers the ABC national examination. Following is information about each examination, along with the conversion between ABC’s examination classes and Virginia’s license classes:

    Waterworks Operators    Wastewater Works Operators         
    Virginia Class  ABC Class  Virginia Class  ABC Class  2018 Fees  # of Questions  Exam Length 
    6 Custom+  -- -- $80 60 2 hours
    5 VSWS* -- -- $80 50 2 hours
    4 I 4 I $100 100 3 hours
    3 II 3      II $100 100 3 hours
    2 III 2      III $100 100 3 hours
    1 IV 1 IV $100 100 3 hours

    *Very Small Water Systems--includes topics related to chlorination for disinfection 
    +Custom exam from ABC item bank 


    Additional information about the Waterworks & Wastewater Works Operator examinations:    
    • PSI offers a specific website for Virginia candidates that corresponds to our license classes instead of ABC’s (i.e., Virginia Class 1 is ABC Class IV, Virginia Class 2 is ABC Class III, etc.). This helps make sure candidates are clear on which exam they are taking and which study materials are applicable to their individual exams.
    • Candidates are allowed to bring their own non-programmable calculators. ABC’s standard formula sheets will be provided at the exam site. 
    • Diagnostic reports will be provided to both pass and fail candidates. 
    • Exam fees can be paid by the candidate via phone or online. Acceptable payment forms include credit card, money order, cashier’s check, or a company check. 
    • There is a ten-day wait period to retake a failed examination for Classes 1-4. There is a 30-day wait period to retake a failed examination for Classes 5 and 6.